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they were thought for some reason not to be presidential timber. and so, as an academic, you tend to ask, well why? that for me was the origin of the book. .. ms. ricardo ainslie and i'm delighted to be moderating this
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event with two authors, hipolito acosta, whose book, thank you. [applause] >> the book is titled "the shadow catcher: a u.s. agent infiltrates mexico's deadly crime cartels". to my left is c.a. heifner. [applause] >> the title of his book is "mule: my dangerous life as a dug smuggler turned dea informant". we have a very interesting and lively set of books here and i will start by asking chris how he became involved in the drug business. >> my wife is sort of the american dream brought back. i was a college graduate and had everything going for me but i was living with my pregnant girlfriend at the time and we
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have a 5-year-old daughter. christmas was two weeks away and we were being evicted. i had no one to turn to and nothing to sell, no options. i turned to a friend who i thought would just give me a loan because he was in the drug business. little did i know he was basically trying to groom me because he wanted -- to didn't look like a typical meal. he loaned me the money and he had his hook in to me at that point because i only asked for a couple thousand dollars and he immediately offered several more than that. there's no way you can say no when you are in a desperate situation. >> so you started running drugs for him. >> yes i did. my situation is not the same as in mexico. 51% of the people in mexico live in extreme poverty. several years ago i attended a
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wedding in mexico and four families were in the wedding at one time. they had to split the cost of a priest which was only $40. at the end of the wedding we decided we would drive back to the bridegroom's house, they lived in one of the outskirts of el paso. they had one bed, parents lived in the bed, two of the children lived in the bed and the newlywed couple was going to share the bed with the parents. there were no bathroom facilities. you went to the back of the house and used the space behind the house and the restroom. when you grow up in that kind of poverty you look for any escape you can. you would willingly bag a drug dealer to come to your house and offer you money so you can buy clothes and shoes and live a nicer life. we would think many years later the situation would be better
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but with the current drug war it is much worse. i can relate to the problems down there with drug trafficking because i was in a similar situation. >> hipolito, you became one of the nation's most decorated officers and rose in the ranks from border patrol agent to a key post in homeland security. wondering if you could talk about how you became involved with the border patrol and the motivation you have at the time. >> good morning to everyone. i was born in west texas and i came from a poor family. i was in a small area in texas where we had a three room school that only when the to a great but we traveled to agriculture camps in to west texas, new
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mexico. one of the things i always figured, i had a feeling working hard in our country i could make it because education was very important to me. because of the limited educational opportunities i joined the u.s. 80 -- navy and spend four years in the military and applied for the u.s. border patrol and i was blessed with a tremendous career, tremendous family. i ended up along the border as u.s. border patrol agents going through the ranks and started using what i felt was a talent i was blessed with, being able to infiltrate drug cartels, human smuggling cartels and did more undercover work than any federal agent in the history of the government's over a 30 year career and i am happy to share those experiences because they are unique because i was the only federal agent who
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experienced being smuggled from mexico to the interior of the united states, going through travels by myself in the back of the trunk of a car, things of that nature. it was quite dramatic but something i did with a lot of pride because i felt going after those seeking a better life in the united states i share those stories with you in my book the shadow catcher. >> there are many powerful moments you describe. i am wondering if you could share a couple of those with us. in particular, a juncture where you are actually stopped by the u.s. border patrol as you enter and you are in an operation. >> that was one of many dramatic moments, i was the new mexico state trooper. you will see the picture in my book, i had a big afro and long
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hair and when i was a federal agent, picked me up. quite dramatic and had been under cover by myself in mexico. i had been in a small hotel in mexico that was fully invested and sleeping on the cement floor in el paso in one room and included women, children and myself. was a prospective not seen by many agents. there were a drug lot of dramatic moments i went through that i share in my book. >> another one is you have infiltrated a group and it is a caravan of eight vehicles coming across and you are in the lead car and the agent stops you. >> unfortunately that happened. again, i was coming through the port of entry and didn't smell very good. i was ready to get home after
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finishing this particular case that we have a large group and unfortunately the only one that was detained was me. that was some of the dramatic times. we ultimately recovered and i ultimately -- kind of dramatic because what happened was i went back into mexico to pursue the main target and i was thrown in a mexican jail where it was very dangerous for me and i was lucky i was able to get out alive because it was in the same time period we had a drug enforcement agents killed in mexico. i was able to get out, a very dangerous time, very dangerous environment. >> chris, you start running drugs for a man named jack anders. can you describe for us that first experience when you were
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heading to wichita? >> i never did drugs so i don't understand the drug holder perce. the first drug i ran was 100,000. we negotiated the price. i got in the car and started driving and all i could think is what happens if my car breaks down or get a flat tire or in a wreck? i was freaking out over the fact the drug there in my car period. at that point dilutions of paranoia start sinking in a new see ghosts behind every tree and cops behind every bush and i thought i was going insane. >> you had a particularly ingenious disguise. >> there's a ski mountain north of el paso. i read this key reports and when i hit the border patrol checkpoint, the border agent never questioned me before. when i was running drugs i was
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younger and better looking because i had hair. you would ever guess i was involved in any sort of criminal enterprise. and i went about my way. was the first time he asked me questions and he was curious about how the mountain conditions were. little did he know i was going to have a heart attack at the checkpoint. >> a dimension to each of these books that i think it shrunk -- striking and comes up as you are approaching that checkpoint, in which you say saying god i am white, the issue of race in relation to these questions is really interesting. hipolito, the fact that you are of mexican ancestry also scituate's you in such a way that you are able to infiltrate
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these cartels without them realizing so each of you in a certain way plays on your racial situation as you participate in these undercover activities. i wonder if you could talk about that. it is an interesting and often not thought about dimension of this issue. >> when i was a drug runner 12 years ago, the drug problem has considerably gotten worse during that time. 12 years ago, cops profile and looked for certain things and i did everything i could to not fit a certain profile. what got me arrested was i drove a rental car and state troopers were looking at that from albuquerque to amarillo. they pulled me over right away. i wasn't speeding. i had 250 pounds of drugs. i am not in a rush.
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i was doing everything i could. i was white knuckle driving doing everything i could to keep the car in the middle of the road. every turn signal is used, every traffic while was obeid. they pull me over right away. the first time that i broke the pattern that they look for. now of course they look for everything because the drug trade is so profitable and lucrative, $30 billion trade that everyone using anything, grandparents using their rvs and people in their fishing boats when they go to the lake. anything because profits are enormous, so the cops are where to look for that now. >> hipolito, how about your mexican background in relation to being able to infiltrate these groups? >> it is extremely important and i have to understand as i was doing this kind of thing that it was what it was with somebody
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from mexico or central america by the drug cartel but it brought out also that the criminal element is not limited to hispanic american or mexicans or whatever but i was able to use my background again where i grew up. if i grew up i was able to capitalize on my background infiltrating but what was important is infiltration and chris will agree there's a lot of attention that builds up as you are working, as a federal agent tries -- you want to make sure you do it right and don't cross the line or make sure you develop the evidence that is going to come up later on and you mix that together and when you are out there you only get one shot. i mentioned in my book you don't get any rehearses or retakes. it is a 1-shot deal. the camera is not rolling.
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you do it right the first time and do it within the loan. it is important and something working narcotics at the time and human smuggling, of my background, tremendous assets what i did for the country. >> that is one of the questions i had been wanting to explore with each of you. you are in this terrain in which you really have to be an exceptional actor. you have to have these people believe you, believe what your motivations are, look you in the eye and be reassured you won't turn them in. they are involved in illegal activity etc.. i would like each of you to talk more about that. how you get into the mindset that you are actually able, in your case to look at somebody that you know is a major human trafficker or drug trafficker and convince them, this guy is
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very cynical, he doesn't trust people and somehow you are able to make him trust you and bring you into his organization. >> the important thing as i prepared my research on the folks i was working on, the criminals and i was able to change not in a bad way but change my personality in the sense that once i got in i knew the role was important with what i had to do and there was a tremendous focus. once i had that believe in myself there was no doubt in my mind i was better than the criminal. i remember times i met with a major smuggler of pakistani and middle eastern in ecuador i was by myself and this was the first time u.s. government agents had seen this criminal and i had to convince him and i have one or two minutes because it is like when you try to sell a book if
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you don't sell in the first paragraph it won't happen. i felt that way. i was very conscious about taking a role. i didn't pretend to be something that was exaggerated. i tried to keep a low-key profile but at the same time that i was aggressive and dominant and knew what my role was and as you read my book you will know that i was very successful because there's a certain little bit of arrogance in working in this that you have to develop because you have to believe in yourself. >> we have gotten a little ahead of ourselves because you haven't even been arrested yet. let's go back a little bit. you are busted at the checkpoint, bring us to that moment when there's a knock on your door.
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>> i wanted to expand on what hipolito talked about. most of the criminal element that i met was extremely intelligent. they ran their organization as a business. i know several business owners and the level of organization and level of skill was exactly the same. i talked college for a few years recently. i was an economic -- reflecting on the past i realized how sophisticated the traffickers and smugglers and everything they dealt with, when you deal with these people you're dealing with an incredibly intelligent person who you have to be dead on on your first take. they will ask you tough questions and you better have an explanation that satisfies them or they will not do business with you and when i was a trafficker everything was like that. my biggest concern was law
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enforcement but in law enforcement is the same thing. they are incredibly well trained and intelligent and good at their jobs so you better have an explanation for everything. the day i got pulled over they asked me you have been arrested, i have never been arrested in my life which is true but they searched the car and found drugs and i was a product of the system. it was irrelevant that the search was illegal. the drugs were in the car. they got the drugs off of the street but that has not been an effective strategy when you start looking at the drug war. >> so you are busted. some time later you have -- there's another legal issue that comes up. your back is against eyewall and that is when you get the knock on the door. you walk out and somebody says these are law enforcement people out here. i was arrested.
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>> i was arrested and scared straight. i decided i would rather be poor and free than half a little bit of money and not able to sleep at night. soaker two years i was on probation. i paid an attorney to $32,000 to get me off the hook and that is something that is not fair in the justice system. if you can afford proper representation you're going to get a slap on the wrist. i got probation. for two years i kept myself clean but my friends were still trafficking drugs and they grew their empire to a $25 million in year empire and the dea told me they are not that big. they came questioning me one day and out of loyalty i asked my friend they are questioning me. you should consider what you are doing to evaluate everything because something is wrong. my friends repaid me by having a hit man visit my house and he described in gory detail how he
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was going to shoot me and my pregnant wife and three kids one by one by one by one if i read him out but at that point my decision was made because once you threaten my children i have to take drastic measures. it was either sit there and wait and hope he didn't do anything or go work for the dea and get some assurances that i was doing the right thing. >> the first meeting with the the dea is quite interesting. it seemed your expectation was that he would divulge everything that you knew at the time and your job would be done with them. >> like most people watch too much television. i had my own idea how i expected to play out and once i went to the dea headquarters and basically explained everything to them i expected them to send
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a swat team in black hawk helicopters and instead after two days of eight hour interviews and what they called debriefings they handed me a liar and started teaching me how to use it and i will never forget my shock sitting there thinking what is this for? they said we need new evidence. you are now a confidential informant. i was hanging around a guy for a year-and-a-half. working a menial job trying to get in to grad school and now here i was. >> are we down on all of them? >> here i was having to hang around these individuals and convince them after i told them i was never going to be in business again convince them that i was worthy to trust with their knowledge and lives and
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money and drugs. obviously my acting job was pretty good. >> that gets us back to this sort of acting issue. how do you go about talking, jeff anders, the $25 million year drug operation head that you are his man? he wants you to be his right hand man. >> when i was a trafficker, he had friends that were in the business. he had a brother, a friend who was the best man at his wedding, and another guy who lifted his neighborhood for a couple years but he couldn't rely on them. she liked me because i was very responsible. i didn't do drugs. i didn't want to go out and drink and party like they did. he trusted me to run his business and that was what he was grooming me for. when i got arrested steps away from that. when i came back to him as a the
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dea informant i said i tried to do things the straight way, not really working. give me another chance and he made me hang around him for six months which was tortured because i had to go out and party and do these things i didn't want to do. i had a young family. i wanted to sit at home and watch cartoons. i didn't want to go to bars every night and build up a report with the guys and that is what he had me do. >> what is it like to be torn in that way? the tremendous pressures at work. you have this obligation to connect with this guy again and also got the va monitoring saying we need more information and you are caught between two forces. >> many of the things you think you choose choose you. i never chose that happen to me and next thing you know you are
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making another and another and find yourself far away from where you started. a point of desperation again, that seems to be recurring theme in my life. pulling my hair out wondering what i am going to do next and how i am going to survive and get through this. i just had faith and trust and i was doing the right thing for my kids that very difficult because you have to wear two hats and for me i like to be genuine. i don't like to lie to my wife because she didn't want to know what i was doing and they threatened my children. at that point you start having to choose sides and make tough decisions. >> hipolito, one of the things i learned that i never thought of
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very much is, a lot of -- not just specifically interdicting people who were bringing in undocumented workers and so on, but i don't know how to pronounce the case but it was very interesting to me. if you could talk a little bit about who he was and what he was doing in chicago and the work you did to bring him down. >> he was a major counterfeiter, one of the best we arrested in the history of our government. when i got to chicago he had been operating an hour agency had investigation and they were able to do nothing with him so i live with five individuals who were mexican illegally indians and sometimes i would come in and visit my wife for a couple
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hours and my young son and i was one of the distributors. to describe him, he was an individual who had been arrested in mexico for suspected homicide, paid off and got away with it and smuggling humans into the united states and got into prison and became the biggest counterfeiter we had ever encountered. at the time we arrested him the first time, he had 43 distributors throughout the united states and there's a movie called catch me if you can where they make a big deal of this counterfeiter. it is funny because he ran his empire by threats, he intimidated workers that were with him and he was also a preacher and gotten a theology degree at the university of illinois. this gives you an idea how conflicted this individual was.
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research time twice. i got injured seriously the second time we arrested him because they recognized me and dragged me 30 yards before we were able to arrest the driver. he was sentenced to serve 12 years in prison but was such a charmer that the prison system allowed him to go on furlough and he escaped to mexico after they put a contract on me and i was moved from chicago, transferred from chicago to el paso. because of the threats on my life, he escaped from custody and ends up across the border from where i was stationed. we have a wonderful country by the way. ultimately he was arrested and i mention this in my book with $12.6 million in counterfeit money. he was quite an individual. the u.s. border patrol, i am
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proud of the agency we had under the department of homeland security and three agents who are my sons that protect our country because there are so many things we do protecting our borders and narcotics trafficking and gunned running -- gunrunning and money laundering and immigration agents seen as a resting workers who are here illegally and we have a lot to be proud of under department of homeland security, border patrol and other agents at work every day. >> this guy is printing social security cards, driver's license, what all was the producing and selling? >> certificates of title with a driver's license, birth certificate, green cards, social security cards, and the identification you needed he would printout. he was so good that he would printout envelops and put stamps
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on so he would not have to pay postage on the envelope that he used to mail. charged to the u.s. government. talk about an individual that was confidence. when he was called to testify before a senate committee about his counterfeiting activities one of the senators told him he understood most of the counterfeiting in the midwest, i only control 5%. >> there is a moment you are working on that case and living with these four five undocumented guys and one of them discovers your identification and he knows you are an agent. talk about that moment and how you handle that. >> one of my mistakes, you are
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always on guard. i had hidden my badge for, some clothes that i had. one of the moments i somehow got away from me. they had a concern about who i was because of andrew and would visit me and deliver documents and they were concerned and thought i was some criminal. they had coming to the country illegally and they were working well and afraid i would attract attention to them and ultimately get arrested. they rummaged through my clothes when i was not aware of it and became aware that i was a federal agent and they decided to sell him that i was the federal agent and when i was not there. one of the individuals in that apartment told me what their plans were and ultimately i had to sit down with them and in very heated discussion, very tense moment i convinced them it
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was in their best interest to not do that and that is when chris was saying earlier, moments that you have to used that particular charm of convincing individuals because there are times your identity is going to be blown and my identity had been blown at that time and i had a choice, try to recover from it or take it down and not be successful and i decided to push the envelope little more until we arrested van drunan. >> what happened to these guys? >> those individuals became witnesses for the government and given permits to stay in the country because it was a long process and our country is dangerous because we award those that do the right thing. ultimately they became permanent residents and american citizens. >> you are in this jam. you have everybody all over you.
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you are having to negotiate a relationship with this guy, geoff and ears. he is all over the map. he is not a very stable character. at one point you follow him into mexico. tell us that story. you have to get a hold of this guy somehow. >> it began innocently like every other case. for some reason his nickname was jake. he was one of the luckiest individuals i ever met in my life. a few months in, he was going to have a wrapping party where he was going to wrap the dogs so the dogs could ship cannot el paso. it was a small load, 700 lbs. so
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the d e a decided to follow me in picking up the supplies. we got to the stop light and we were in an ugly green ford focus. there happened to be another ugly green ford focus at the same stoplight so the dea followed the wrong ford focus. later on about a year later we rented a stash house. i rented a house and he begged me to use it as a stash house and i said okay. we had a bus of 5,000 pounds and nothing happened. the case kept on its own sort of dying on the vines. here i was fully committed to it because i realized if my involvement ever came out i was toast and so was my family. kept pushing through the bureaucratic system and after four years because i was an informant for four years that is how my hair fell out in case you are curious, after that, they
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were not doing the investigative work i thought they should have been. he was moving 5,000 pounds a month and they were telling me he is really small. i am like okay, but that is still many millions of dollars of product. i took upon myself to follow him to mexico and lost him because when he crossed the mexican border they pulled me over to search my car but didn't do that to him. i am driving around trying to find him and i rented him. if he had seen me he would have known i was trying to catch him but in mexico if you are in a car wreck you don't exchange insurance information or pull over or pick -- take pictures you run because the police will arrest you and you pay for the damage on the spot. fortunately he was in a big pickup truck and i was in the small on the. he couldn't see who had hit him. i basically slumped down into
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the passenger seat. he drove off and i looked up and all because that were in iraq took off and i took that as my cue to leave too. it was one keystone kop catastrophe after another. >> i would like to ask each of you to talk about the impact of this time on your families. you have a wife and children and both in these undercover activities. they must have taken -- it must have taken a toll. i am trying to -- too bad we can't get their account from wives. >> that was the scariest part of the whole ordeal. i would lie in bed at night and think my kids are in the other room and my wife is beside me. what have i gotten us all into? the guilt was incredible. the fear was incredible.
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i was not afraid when i was chasing thing to eat -- and i knew if i got shot my body would be found and the ordeal would be over with. you start thinking in terms of what do i do? i had a 3-year-old, a 2-year-old and the 1-year-old at home. if someone knocked on the door i only had two arms. i can't grabbed the kids and run. can't throw them in the car. you know how cooperative small children are. they have a mind of their own. i knew i had no choice but to fight it out if something happened. the stress was incredible. i tried not to tell my wife anything about it. i had to talk to someone. i had to find a friend i could tell a story like can you believe what happened today? i was in a wreck in mexico and almost shocked. for my family apart and cost me my marriage. she is still a good friend but we go through too much at that
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point. >> the family for me played a huge role in my success not only as an undercover agent but a federal agent in its entirety and i was blessed my wife and i have been married 38 years with four children and they had a belief in me and i had faith in my wife and being able to share something that i could. not all the details because it wouldn't have been appropriate but i had the belief that my children were taken care of. i also knew there was a lot of stress that went in it. i was lost once in mexico and agents went to the house at 4:00 in the morning to see if my wife had heard from me. that is not one of the better moments that we shared because she thought something had happened to me. on other occasions there was times i would be gone. we didn't have cellphones or
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twitter or internet back then. i could be done four five or six or seven days without communicating what are was doing. it was a tremendous challenge. when i had a contract placed on me in chicago and when we were in the philippines where we had to have extra security precautions those kinds of things certainly have an impact. i have a loving family that was supportive. they thrived on my case as much as i do and they love the stories and remember all the characters. >> i would like to touch on something a lot of people don't think about often when they think of human trafficking and bringing in people without papers to work in the united states. you did some work with people
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trafficking children. i wonder if you could talk about that and also talk about some of what these people are trying to get into the united states, thing they are subjected to in the process. >> two different areas but related. i would like to share a couple experiences. one was a case we did in central america. two children from el salvador to the united states and accompanied including an 18-month-old child being brought by the smugglers. there were a number of children that had not arrived at their destinations so it was the type of dangerous they have and no one to turn to for those individuals -- brought in by smugglers and was one of the most heart wrenching things to see and 18-month-old child being placed in the hands of smugglers
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who don't care about anything except money. what can happen? and 8-year-old was being smuggled where she was abused by one of the smugglers and one of the other men in the group where they would use a needle to do that -- a tremendous difficult thing to learn or experience. when i was smuggled on a couple occasions there were children with me in the group and for me listening to this i will never forget being in the back of the you hall with a 6-year-old child and an 8-year-old girl and a little kid is talking about the opportunity to get an education in the united states and it is hard wrenching. what made it difficult for me is i knew everybody in the group, my responsibility was federal agents of the united states. i was going to have to arrest
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everybody in that group but i would listen to their stories and have a lot of anguish in listening because i knew they had the right desires. i remember being in a fleabag hotel with a young kid who said he was willing to serve in the army and fight for the united states and give up his life because he fought so much about our great country. those are dramatic moments of people coming to the united states but that is what makes this a great country. >> before we move into q&a and give you the opportunity to ask questions i wanted to ask chris about his views about american drug policy and the kind of collective situations that you became so intimately involved and what can we do about it and what is your take on the situation? what do you think?
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>> since the drug war began it is estimated we spent $2 trillion fighting the drug war. i looked up stats the other day and we spent every year, $20 billion on policeing and $80 billion on correction and $60 billion on the judicial system which mainly goes towards non-violent drug offenders. when you start looking about how much money you take into account the human drama and human tragedy taking place in mexico. exact numbers are hard to come by but 100,000 people have died over the past week in years, men, women and children from drug violence and there are millions of refugees locked in their own country, unable to feel safe at night because there are two governments, the narco government, crime, federal government which runs the
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education system and infrastructure and things like that. when you start looking at the money we're spending why are we doing what we are doing? are we helping people? are we serving justice? why aren't we looking at the american consumer? they are funding 99% of the problem. what is the point of this transaction that we spend hundreds of billions of dollars or trillions of dollars and have the social ills that are getting worse every year. >> hipolito, i want to ask you a question. you make a point in your book about toward the end of the book, it is not about how high we can build the senses. it is -- or how expensive a fees are for toyota but the desperation. what ideas do you have after a career in this area of how we
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can address this issue about immigration and employers who want workers and so on? >> it is obvious we have had neglect from our political leaders on judicial policy in the united states. for the past 20 or 30 years. there's the reality that we finally started thinking of the border when i came to the border patrol we had 1800 agents and we now have 23,000 but with the increase in security we have failed in a lot of ways and i will give you an example. in 2001 there were three million a local illegal mexican aliens in the united states and now 10 to thirteen million illegal aliens in the united states. we have not been doing what is correct. i will lay the ball where should be. it has not been because we haven't had agents or personnel who wanted to do the right thing and do it right. our political leaders have always neglected this issue and
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we can increase our security and put offenses along the border. it won't fall that because as long as people need a place to work and there are employers in the united states who are willing to hire them and the government or political leaders who don't provide appropriate resources to enforce immigration law in the interior of the united states we will continue having people coming to this country looking for a better way of life and also if we have a need for workers in the united states our political leaders should have given the opportunity for workers to come into the country and leave rather than have to sneak into the united states and smuggle their families and to the united states and that happened. [applause] >> this is a good opportunity to invite our guests to ask questions of our riders.
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if you will go to the microphones please, we can all hear you and that will help us respond effectively. >> we read in the press we see constant mention of the large cartels in mexico that are smuggling drugs. how far down the distribution chain for cartel extend? did they hire the guys on the street or simply coming to chicago and sell it to a middleman going from the major wholesalers down how far to the mexican cartel extend into the u.s.? >> that is an important question. our security doesn't start for end at the u.s. border. right now one of our centers and
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estimates we have a cartel presence in about 1,286 cities throughout the united states. that is a major concern and those want to give to political items but in the presidential debates nothing was mentioned about the security of that matter. we did not generalize how much they control in the cartel's. we have willing participants, american citizens, the unfortunate incidents where we have more enforcement like the sheriff of south texas involved with the cartel being placed in prison for 25 years. a recent county commissioner also been indicted for their ties. my answer is there is no actual hierarchy that happens but we have a big concern. i will share this with you. in 1981 i did another apps case in chicago where i arrested
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gentleman named floor as isolde 13 pounds of heroin and 20 years later a couple years ago his two twin sons were arrested for being part of the cartel. it gives you an idea what we have in our cities. >> you want to speak to that? >> cartels are the most sophisticated business organizations and once we started policeing the border with 23 additional border patrol agents they simply set up shop in the united states because it was easier than crossing the international border every day. they use illegal immigrants and anyone that needs money and hierarchy and system been and is as simple as that and this unsophisticated notion of good guy bad guy because they're too
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busy trying to simplify, would have stopped the problem along time ago. >> this was partially answered but i want to ask about their opinions. fly over the situation. seems to me we can't get away from making a political football out of immigration issues and people like yourself are much more intimately understand it. how could we help our politicians work together? something like a dream act and some work permit type systems should help the situation but right now nothing is being done to help the immigration issues. >> what can politicians do to
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address that? >> we as americans always meet the challenge and expect our political leaders to meet those challenges instead of working to get elected and to appease one member of the party. that is what we need to do because it is a sensitive issue. we have thirteen million people in the shadows and won't the port them. we need to take action. as a law enforcement officer you will read in my book as a law enforcement officer they broke the law and make sure you are penalized for breaking the law. not taking any action neglects further. >> i often say success is a process, not a result. many law enforcement officers i have had the pleasure of meeting and many of the same things that hipolito is saying. the process is not working properly. the politicians are not addressing this issue. we need to take a long hard honest look at what we're doing
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to help people, help the brothers and sisters in mexico because if we don't do that the problem will continue to grow and continue to take over american cities and expand the inner cities. >> time for a couple more questions. >> hipolito and chris, i would like to ask how you evaluated the decision because it puts a public face on past activities and i certainly think you would have evaluated the exposure it would give you. >> excellent question. i want to say i want to thank my wife for being here because we have been married 38 years. i can't go without thanking her for that. in writing a book about immigration, i don't deal lot with the narcotics cases i did
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because from the immigration of a nation being smuggled and some things people go through and irresponsibility that we have i took my job seriously but immigration sometimes we see as faceless but our great nation was built with immigration and as americans we are very generous but also we need to address the issue of the way it should have been done along time ago. >> writing my book was very simple. i wanted to present people with stories is possible to overcome and make mistakes and atone for those mistakes and also possible to get a positive message and deliver that to other people and it was a simple process. >> as a mexican, running away
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from security, i get pessimism about things getting better. you seem to have a sense of optimism. you seem to be optimistic about the future. and help out the united states. can you say something about that? >> you have a sense of optimism. hipolito has been in a lot of firefights. >> not firefights. >> the question was about your optimism. you seem to have a -- refugee from violence in mexico, there's a lot of cynicism in mexico. you seem to have some optimism. if you could speak to that. >> when we see the violence in mexico we categorize it as an
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entire country being involved but the reality is small percentages of the violent criminals get the image of mexico because it is a wonderful country with wonderful people and having said that their own political leaders need to take a for a reaction to protect the population and realize they must do that. what you will see with a new administration, going to be important steps in taking the country back because if they don't, i don't know what the answer is going to be. political leaders, the new administration coming in, they know what action they have to take and we will see changes in the next six to ten months what they need to do to take the country back. >> if i could add to that question and additional observation because in your book you talk about work, working with mexican law enforcement and americans have a very sort of
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homogenous view of mexican law enforcement. people you talk about as being clearly corrupt and participating in criminal activities and other people you work with that you trusted that actually were key players in the actions you had taken. it speaks to the issue of cynicism and pessimism. >> i was actually applying with diplomatic affairs unit in mexico, mexico city for 28 years so i was on the ground in mexico for a number of years and did a major case that is covered in my book on a major trafficker with the nickname of hillsborough e --el zorro. law enforcement officials are like anywhere else, the unfortunate thing was many of them were very local, paid very
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low wages. the system itself pushed them through to take money in order to survive. we have to continue working with foreign countries because one thing we don't want to do. we have our own work to do inside the united states. they should be doing their own. we can support them and many people are willing to do that and we will be seeing that more in the future as we train officers in mexico and they train them there are people willing to work and we have seen many of their own officers die within the past two years because of trying to enforce laws against the cartel. >> let's go to the next question. >> when you are in a tough situation if you don't have a positive attitude there's no way you can survive. you need to wake up every morning assuming you will survive the day and somehow get to the next day when you can start over again.
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a very tough way -- if everyone could do it everyone would be doing it. positive attitude is very important. >> another question. >> any writers and approached? >> movie deals. have either of you been approached with movie deals? thank you for asking. i am proud to say i have signed a big holder production los angeles and picked up steve jones who is producer of all about jack who signed as a to pick up the options so we are hopeful and i am sure if you send text messages on twitter we will get it. thank you. [applause] >> have you branded that elusive movie deal yet? >> no but i am hoping for
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negotiations. >> we know that the mafia became strong after prohibition. what is your opinion of what happened to the cartels in mexico should marijuana be legalized in the united states? and taxed? >> marijuana has never been utilized anywhere in the world. i am informed on that because we have four children. i don't want them to experiment with drugs but i realize as an economist if you take profit motive away from cartels, eventually they cease to exist. the initial pain would be unbelievable. difficult to say what direction that would go but in the short term the pain would be unbearable and that is why politicians are afraid to address the issue. they keep pushing it to the next
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election as hipolito was saying. >> as a law enforcement officer for 30 years cartels are vicious criminal elements and regardless they will seek to continue their criminal element and the honest truth as a law enforcement officer they break the law they should go to jail and be punished appropriately regardless what offense they take. the mexican government and law enforcement officers in the united states which address that and actually individuals that break the law. >> that is the last question. my name is ricardo ainslie and it has been a pleasure to moderate this panel with two very interesting people who shared their lives. these books offer a unique window into what it is really like to be the superficial examination that we typically get about

Book TV
CSPAN November 3, 2012 11:00am-12:00pm EDT

Rachel Cox Education. (2012) 'Into Dust and Fire Five Young Americans Who Went First To Fight the Nazi Army.' New.

TOPIC FREQUENCY Mexico 25, United States 22, U.s. 9, Chicago 7, Us 5, Hipolito 4, Cartel 2, United 2, New Mexico 2, West Texas 2, Navy 1, Albuquerque 1, El Zorro 1, Indians 1, Isolde 1, Jeff Anders 1, Geoff 1, Ms. Ricardo Ainslie 1, Paso 1, Hipolito Acosta 1
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